Retro - The Growing Demand For Old New

Issue 96

No matter your industry, it is commonly understood that businesses are always trying to innovate and push the boundaries of what they can offer their customers. The most obvious examples of this can be found in the technology industry where brands like Apple, Oculus, and Amazon announce upgrades to their ranges of products. 

The pageantry of a senior executive from the company standing on stage in front of a crowd of super fans and journalists to reveal what new features they’ve included on the latest release has become standard practice. 

But this drive for new doesn’t have to be about new gizmos at the bleeding edge of technology, it might be as simple as a new dish on your restaurant menu, a new colour for your products, or an even more personalised service for your best customers. 

Whatever it is, the idea behind it is to encourage customers to return, buy more, and build a relationship with your business’ brand so you can retain them for longer. 

This is solid advice and it works for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and types. Yet, there’s also success to be had by going back in time. The demand for retro products of all kinds is growing rapidly and this could be an opportunity for your business. 


We all have things in our pasts that we enjoyed. Music, movies, foods, clothes, whatever it is, they bring back floods of memories and leave you with a smile on your face. It can be as simple as hearing an old track come on the radio and it reminding you of when you met your partner or of walking past a bakery and the scent of the cakes bring a warm feeling of when your aunt or grandmother would make you similar sweet treats. 

The business of retro is, essentially, creating products and services that help people to enjoy this nostalgia. 

It’s common in the entertainment business. There have been countless reboots of TV shows and movies. For example, the hype around Friends: The Reunion in 2021 is evidence of how much demand there is for content that lets people reconnect with the things they loved in the past. 

Video games are another great demonstration. There are remasters, remakes, and re-releases of old video games going on sale every year, including of hugely popular retro titles like Zelda, Mario, Grand Theft Auto, and Final Fantasy. 

These games combine the classic features and levels with better graphics and gameplay improvements, though it is a challenge for developers to find the balance between making improvements and staying true to the original. 

Letting New Generations Enjoy the Past

Some retro isn’t about tapping into old memories but is designed to connect people with a world that may have existed before them. 

In the UK, the Goodwood Revival is the clearest example of this as it’s the only historic motor racing event that is staged entirely in period theme. This means that, not only are the cars on track old, but people attending are required to wear the clothes worn by people of the past. This creates a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else. 

Online casinos also do this for their players as they connect modern generations with the popular titles enjoyed by gamers centuries ago. While many players today may like video slots with their flashy animations and bonus features, others love the retro feel of table games like roulette. 

This game, in particular, embodies this connection to the past as the roulette board layout is largely unchanged across the different variations that have emerged as time has gone on and the game was transferred across the Atlantic where American roulette was created.  Players who enjoy a few rounds of roulette today, therefore, get to experience the same thrill that their ancestors have done for centuries.

How Can Your Business Benefit From Retro?

Your business can benefit by embracing retro. Making people feel good is the ultimate way to succeed in business and providing them a channel to get a little taste of the past, be that literally or metaphorically, is a great way to do it. 

If your business has been around for a while, it might be that retro for you involves bringing back an old discontinued product. Alternatively, it may be that you create a product or service variation that borrows ideas from the past. 

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